Over 100 Organizations, Community Leaders Demand FCC Investigate Decades of Racism In Media Policies

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Photos: Twitter WASHINGTON — On Monday, more than 100 organizations and community leaders called on the Federal Communications Commission to investigate the history of racism in its media policies and identify reparative actions the agency can take to redress the structural racism that exists in the U.S. media system.In a letter sent to Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the organizations wrote: “It’s time for the FCC to acknowledge that its policies and practices are a primary reason why deep structural inequities exist in the media and telecom industries that have harmed the Black community.” The signers urged the agency to “examine the roots of its failure to create a racially just media system” and to “begin to chart a path forward toward a future abundant with repair.”Decades of FCC policies have resulted in inequitable access to media-ownership opportunities for Black, Indigenous and Afro-Latinx communities. The first Black-owned radio station didn’t exist until the late 1940s — two decades after the establishment of the commercial radio industry. By 1969, Black people owned fewer than 12 radio outlets. And it wasn’t until 1973 that the first Black-owned commercial television station emerged.According to Free Press research, from 1998–2007, there was a 70-percent drop...

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